AmericaSpace Countdown

Next Launch TMA-16M on a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
scheduled for:
27 Mar 15 19:42:59 GMT
28 Mar 15 1:42:59 ALMT
27 Mar 15 15:42:59 Eastern

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First Mission to Dwarf Planet Set for Ceres Arrival, Sees Surprising 'Bright Spots' Beyond Compare

Ceres awaits Dawn with two totally unique bright spots inside crater. Ceres rotates in this sped-up movie comprised of images taken by NASA’s Dawn mission during its approach to the dwarf planet. The images were taken on Feb. 19, 2015, from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). Dawn observed Ceres for a […]

The Coming of SMAP, Part Two: SMAP, Aquarius, and Our Planet’s Water Cycle

The launch of NASA’s latest Earth Science mission, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, atop a United Launch Alliance Delta-II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Jan. 31, 2015. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / AmericaSpace

Story and Interviews by Chris Howell, with: Dr. Simon Yueh, JPL SMAP Senior Research Scientist Dr. […]

Ceres Reveals Eye-Like Bright Spots, Mr. Spock Explains Dawn

This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A scientific mystery on dwarf planet Ceres—worthy of investigation […]

Curiosity Snaps Expansive Selfie, Sets Next Drill Campaign

This self-portrait of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the “Mojave” site, where its drill collected the mission’s second taste of Mount Sharp. The scene combines dozens of images taken during January 2015 by the MAHLI camera at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS See drill site photomosaics […]

Getting Closer! New Horizons Sees Two of Pluto's Smaller Moons for First Time

Long-exposure images taken by New Horizons between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8, 2015, showing the two tiny moons Hydra (inside yellow diamond) and Nix (inside orange diamond). Image Credit: Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

The New Horizons spacecraft, on course for a historic encounter with Pluto this summer, is […]

Ceres Shows Mystifying Faces and Perplexing White Spots to NASA’s Dawn

Two mystifying faces of Ceres These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A fresh set of images of dwarf planet Ceres […]

Rosetta’s Valentine’s Day Flyby Encounter Produces Stunning Comet Close-Ups

Backside view of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Four image mosaic of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comprising images taken on 14 February 2015 at 10:15 GMT just prior to closest approach from a distance of 12.6 km from the comet centre (about 10.6 km from the surface). For the comet centre distance, the image scale is 1.1 m/pixel. In […]

Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 2)

The Outboard Antenna of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) extends 200 feet (60 meters) into space atop a mast extended from Endeavour’s payload bay. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, this week, the six-member crew of STS-99—Commander Kevin Kregel, Pilot Dom Gorie, and Mission Specialists Janet Kavandi, Janice Voss, Germany’s Gerhard Thiele, and […]

Curiosity Spied From Orbit by Mountain Drilling Base Where Ancient Water Flowed on Mars

Curiosity on Mars from Above and Below NASA’s Curiosity rover conducts fifth Martian sample drilling campaign at “Mojave 2” rock target in this composite photo mosaic from Sols 864 to 889. The mosaic shows the robotic arm deployed on Sol 889, Feb. 5, 2015 to the “Pink Cliffs” portion of the “Pahrump Hills” rock […]

Mapping Planet Earth: 15 Years Since STS-99 (Part 1)

Computer-generated image of Endeavour performing radar observations with instruments in her payload bay and affixed to the deployable Outboard Antenna on STS-99. Image Credit: NASA

At the dawn of the year 2000, more precise radar maps existed of Venus—thanks to NASA’s Magellan imaging spacecraft—than of our own Home Planet. Although areas of Earth had […]